The need is real.
The majority of Avalon households have experienced generational poverty and trauma. Many have become disconnected from family, friends and other support systems. Our supportive housing residents are resilient, and they’ve had to develop important survival skills. Building trust, relationships and community with our clients is the foundation of our work.
The Washtenaw Housing Alliance estimates that each year 5,000 people will experience homelessness in Washtenaw County. A County Housing Affordability and Economic Equity study published in 2015 identified the need for 3,139 new affordable housing units in Washtenaw County over the next 18 years.
All Avalon supportive housing residents have incomes at or below 30% of the Area Media Income (AMI), which means that they live on $18,550 or less per year for a one-person household, or $26,500 or less per year for a family of four. More than half of our residents have incomes of less than $800 per month.
Jennifer first came to Avalon in 2011. “Since I was a teenager,” she says, “I have struggled with homelessness.” Jennifer lived with abusive people and physical violence, because she had nowhere else to stay. By the time she moved into Avalon, she had struggled for years with substance use and mental health issues.
Since the birth of her daughter, Jennifer has been able to maintain her sobriety.
She’s taken parenting classes and has joined a peer support group to help her stay in recovery. With the help of her Avalon case manager, Jennifer’s getting the critical medical, dental and mental health care that she could not obtain while living on the streets.
And, says Jennifer: “Because of Avalon, I’m finally able to be the mother that my child needs.”
Avalon is my community. I’ve made a lot of friends here. I’m part of a “Legacy” group at my apartment complex. We’re all people over 55 who are dealing with aging. We talk about everything, from how to deal with our feelings to our favorite music and books. We look out for each other. I feel safe here.
If it weren’t for Avalon, I would not be able to live in my apartment.
You can read my full story here.